★★★★ ½ THUNDER-WHALES at New Diorama Theatre
A bizarre, bonkers and brilliant hour of fin-clapping fun!
As weird as it is venturing deep into one of London’s shiniest new corporate re-developments to get to the New Diorama Theatre, it’s definitely worth elbowing a few suits out the way to find this mini fringe marvel!
THUNDER-WHALES: Escape from Waveworld is the latest from theatre company Red Cape Black Cape, who ‘make theatre, with added E-numbers’.
We were enticed in by the pure campery of the late-eighties poster theme and of course a show with killer whales called Mysti and Cruz. We were hoping for a sing-a-long style tribute with songs like Highway to the Danger Zone and St. Elmo’s Fire. And boy oh boy did we get what we came for – with added hilarity from a divinely OTT, laugh-out-loud script by Reece Connolly.
The show tells the touching and oh-so-cliché tale of two captive orca whales longing to be free. Their chance comes at a Cape Canaveral rocket launch and… Well, we won’t give everything away.
The whales’ high-octane and high-camp trainers are the key to the comedy in the show, with superb comic performances from the nice guy Sal Morton and the bad guy Reece Connolly – the missed high fives are a real coup de théâtre! The whale buddies played by Georgia Mae Wilkinson and Joshua Young have some hilarious moments too, particularly in the visual gags and 80s aerobics style choreography.
The show overran a little and could be a bit tighter, but the story structure, sardonic 90s wit and Disneyfied storyline made these orcas jump very high indeed.
Overall we think this production deserves to go far, perhaps to Edinburgh Fringe…and beyond!